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They are large marine mammals (up to 3.5m), gray in color, with a spoon-shaped tail. They have two arms, called fins, with three or four nails on each one. Their heads and faces are wrinkled with whiskers on their snouts.

Some curious facts

Gestation: 13-14 months
Breeding: 1 every 5 years
Breastfeeding: about 2 years
Estimated life expectancy: 30-50 years
Swimming speed: 5 to 8 km/h on average but can reach up to 30 km/h

Where does the manatee come from?

The closest relatives of manatees are the elephant and the hyrax. Manatees are believed to have evolved from a semi-aquatic herbivorous animal. We invite you to visit the manatee in the tree of life:

State of conservation

The Antillean manatee ( Trichechus manatus manatus ) was a species commonly observed off the coast of the Dominican Republic. The records of the Taíno and colonial era are proof of this. However, due to intensive overfishing during the colonial era, habitat loss, unsustainable coastal development, collisions with boats and other problems of anthropogenic origin, have led the species to a critical state of extinction. Today this species is the most endangered aquatic mammal in the Caribbean, being cataloged by the IUCN as a vulnerable species. However, Puerto Rico, Cuba and the Dominican Republic classify it as a critically endangered species.

How to support?

  • Making a donation

  • Reporting sightings and strandings: +1 849 472 3270

  • Disseminating information about the manatee to raise awareness among more people

  • Respecting the bans


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